SACRED DAWN – A Madness Within
An Illinois five piece, Sacred Dawn impressed me with their debut album “Gears Of The Machine – A New Beginning” in 2008 and I’ve been patiently awaiting the follow up “A Madness Within”. These musicians aren’t afraid to mix up the parameters of progressive and power metal, using a plethora of sounds and tones to convey a darker approach. Songs like “Summer Of Treason” and “Delirium” have unique riff combinations and energetic transitions that take what bands like Nevermore and Kamelot have done into a fresh direction.
The biggest assets to Sacred Dawn’s originality lie in the vocal style of guitarist Lothar Keller, the vast keyboard sounds from Brian Kim and their willingness to take influences from the 80’s/90’s power and progressive bands while creating something innovative and modern for today’s audiences. Lothar (along with bassist Joey Vega who handles the screams and roars in the background) is a melodic chameleon, as artists like Khan, Bruce Dickinson, James Rivera, Warrel Dane and even a touch of Messiah Marcolin come into mind when taking in “Demonlover” or the title track. Speaking of the title track, this is where you hear some of Brian’s deeper approach, giving this number more of a Black Sabbath / Geoff Nichols vibe with his funeral tones against the otherwise progressive nature of this epic.
For a second album, “A Madness Within” contains a level of maturity rarely displayed in terms of confident songwriting and varied arrangements (running the gamut from 4 to 9 minutes plus in length). They fill a void left when Savatage retired, and should be able to climb the ranks in the progressive power genre.